Hayward Baker Solicitors won £2,680 in compensation for Mr U, a delivery driver from Devon, who was injured in a work-related accident.
Mr U, from Newton Abbot inDevonworked as a delivery driver. He was carrying out his last delivery of the day at a restaurant premises. In order to make the delivery it was necessary for him to walk through an alley-way area which was used to store unused cardboard boxes, empty beer barrels and chip fat drums. As he was walking through the area he slipped on the floor and then caught his foot in a divot causing him to fall. He did not have time to put out his hands to save himself and he struck the front of his left shoulder against the edge of beer barrel. The area had become slippery from chip that had been spilt because the fat had not been disposed of properly.
What did we do?
After discussing the circumstances of the work accident with Mr U, we wrote to the offending restaurant explaining the accident circumstances and outlining the reasons why they were negligent in allowing the area to become an obvious slip hazard.
What was the response?
The insurers for the restaurant denied liability. The said that the restaurant did not use the area to store chip fat and cardboard boxes. They alleged the floor in question could not have become slippery as it was only used to store empty beer barrels. The insurers even provided witness statements from the restaurant manager who claimed that our client’s personal injuries could not have been caused by a slippery floor.
On receipt of the denial, we disclosed photographs that our client had taken at the time of the accident. It was obvious from the photographs that the used oil was kept outside and it could be clearly seen that the oil had been spilt onto the floor.
In addition, we had further photographs taken between 1-2 months after the accident and again at 5-6 months after the accident which again that the chip fat is stored outside rather than in the kitchen and was causing an obvious slip hazard to their employees and those delivering to the premises.
No comment was made on the inconsistency between the photographs of the accident area and the ‘mistaken’ testimony of the restaurant manager; however, the insurers admitted liability for the work accident.
What medical evidence was required?
Following the accident Mr U was taken to the Newton Abbot Hospital by a work colleague. He was told that he had not fractured the bones but that there was a significant soft tissue injury. He was given a sling and some painkillers and told to come back if the symptoms did not improve.
Copies of these medical records were obtained from the hospital, and an independent Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon was instructed to review the client and produce a report on his injuries. The expert found that he had suffered from a sprain and soft tissue injury to acromio-clavicular joint and left shoulder. Fortunately, after a course of private physiotherapy – which we were able to arrange for Mr U at no cost to him – he is expected to make a full recovery from his symptoms.